Thursday, May 05, 2011
This week I am striving to go meat free for the entire week, with one exception of tuna melts one day this week. My week actually started on Friday and I've had 100% success so far. I am not giving up meat forever, not yet, just trying to get a lot closer to meat free and want one week to see how it goes. So far, so good.
Tonight was tough though. I was sorely tempted tonight to ditch my plan and eat the same dinner I prepared for my family. Daughter has been BEGGING for Pineapple Burgers. This is an OLD family favorite, my mom made them when I was a kid, and one of those things that is really hard to pass up. Essentially you have two hamburger patties with a pineapple ring in between. Stick it in the broiler until cooked through then drizzle a "sweet and sour" type sauce over the whole thing (ketchup, brown sugar and mustard warmed on the stove). My description does not do them justice. Very yummy. So, I promised daughter pineapple burgers tonight.
As I start planning out my food for the day I am at a loss as to what I am going to have for dinner. Really had no clue, thought of a couple different things, but nothing compared to pineapple burgers-lol!
I thought that maybe I could make a version using some Boca burgers I thought I had in the freezer, no go...guess they'd been there awhile and I tossed them last time I cleaned the freezer. Then I thought of this item that was on my menu for later in the week. I made this dish once before and it was really good, but REALLY high in sodium so I wasn't positive I really wanted them again. Cottage Cheese Patties...sounds pretty disgusting, I know. I don't really like cottage cheese, but these are really actually pretty yummy. Originally the recipe covers the patties in condensed cream of mushroom soup. My idea was to make just the patty, add a pineapple slice on top and a little of the sauce. Kind of a veg version of the family's dinner. I checked recipes and decided it was do-able with a few changes (rolling the patties in bread crumbs to help them hold together better).
Went about my day, started the family's dinner and was kind of disgusted by the amount of grease left on my hands after shaping the patties and went to start on my version. I couldn't find the cottage cheese I KNEW we had!! I panicked!! What on earth was I going to eat??!! Hubs had cleaned out the fridge for me and I accused him of tossing the cottage cheese. For a moment I thought I'd be left eating the pineapple burgers with everyone else. Sounded so tempting. The perfect excuse to break my goal and to eat that meat. Except it was so greasy!! Lol! I didn't want the meat!! I'd figured out my plan and I wanted my version of a pineapple burger!!
In desperation I went to the cupboard and started scanning for something, anything, that would work as a quick substitute for my dinner. I found a can of black bean refried beans and decided on a burrito. So back to the refrigerator for lettuce, tomato and oh look, we are out of cheese, okay a burrito without cheese. I reach for a tomato and something catches my eye....waaaaaaaay back in the back behind a bunch of stuff, is the cottage cheese!!!! YAY!! Apologies to the husband, laced with "you put it way in the back" (yeah, not ready to really give up the frustration I'd just been through) and I went back to the original plan.
Whipped up the cottage cheese patties, rolled them in bread crumbs and cooked them in a pan. Went to get a slice of pineapple to warm up in the pan with the patties and the can is empty!! "Kaylie, did you eat all the pineapple?" "Yes, why?" "Well, I wanted one slice for my dinner." "Sorry, it was just so good." Can I really argue with my daughter eating fruit (even if it is canned fruit)? No....Okay, no pineapple.
Sit down to dinner and put a little sauce on my patties and YUM!! Not the same by any stretch of the imagination but still REALLY good and an acceptable substitution for a meal I really love!! Turns out youngest did not want the pineapple in her burger, so I took her slice and yes it had hamburger cooties on it, but I decided to overlook that fact and broke it into pieces and ate it with my patties and sauce. So, yeah, I'm not perfect, but I'm still trying :).
The plus to this? When I was done adding up my day....I hit the mark on calories, carbs, fat and PROTEIN!! Hey, wait, aren't vegetarians supposed to have a hard time hitting the protein numbers??!! Well, here is the funny part....when I eat meat I SELDOM hit the protein mark, and if I do I usually go over in fat. Huh, fancy that :). I do not expect that I will do that again anytime soon, but it is pretty awesome!! The only downside was that I did go over in sodium, which is not a huge concern for me past water retention. I'm going to be working further on that cottage cheese patty recipe and see if I can reduce the sodium a little more...it used dry onion soup mix as an ingredient, if I can ditch that and add some onion and other herbs or spices that won't add sodium it'll be a healthier recipe. Will give that a try next time I make it. I'm not a terribly creative cook so hopefully I will stumble upon something great-lol!!
In the end it all worked out, I'm still doing great, I even totally resisted eating the leftovers on my kids' plates-lol!!
Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to find a way to make it work. Today I made it work and that feels pretty darn awesome!! That combined with more than the required amount of water (it's been really hot here and more water is pretty much required), a great strength workout, a great yoga session (yoga fusion that counts as cardio), an abs/cardio workout, and a walk made today an awesome day!! Oh, and I almost forgot!!...All of that made me feel STRONG :)!!
Hope everyone else had/has a great day too :).
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Happy Tuesday all! Yesterday was a kind of rocky Monday, as they tend to be sometimes, but got through it and did it pretty well.
Walked to pick up the kids from school, despite it being a tad toasty yesterday (in the 90's), fortunately the wind settled down to a breeze and kept things a bit more comfy. Got in some strength training, but not all of it because I had to stop to make dinner and then never got back...dang it. Oh well, I did the majority of what I set out to do and am okay with it...if I really want to I can fit in the other part of strength today :).
Dinner last night was a success, well, sort of. Husband and son had baseball practice and we ended up doing what we never do and ate in two groups. My mom, myself and the girls in one shift, my husband and son in the second. I made hamburger helper (ugggh) for the kids and husband and Creamy Quinoa Primavera for myself and anybody else who wanted it.
To be fair to the Quinoa, I took this pic this morning, after it had been smushed in the container, in the refrigerator all night. This was SOOOOOOOO yummy!! My adventurous six year old also loved it she ate all of the first small serving I gave her and asked for more. She ate more of this than she did hamburger helper!!! Ingredients are Quinoa (a grain for those not familiar with it---pronounce KEEN-WAH), 5 cups miscellaneous vegetables, I used zucchini, tomatoes and peas (it's what I had on hand and sounded good), some garlic, a teaspoon of dried basil (my fresh isn't big enough to use yet), 3 oz of low-fat cream cheese and a sprinkle of Romano cheese ( I used the Parmesan and Romano blend I buy for spaghetti). It was soooo goooood and sooo filling. And, I'll tell ya, when I opened the container to take the pic, the smell made me drool, it smells so good, even cold!! I did not miss the hamburger helper AT ALL! Yesterday I wrote about operation almost vegetarian...I have a lot to learn and I need to learn to think ahead.
First, I am working on vegetarian living which means I can still use milk and cheese, etc, but the more I think about it the more I want to try finding good options for milk and cheese too...right now it is not a priority as I work on figuring out how to get just meat out of our diet, but I can see that change coming on the horizon. The other part is thinking ahead. I didn't CAREFULLY read the recipe and it used chicken broth for the liquid. As a meat eating household I have chicken and beef bullion cubes and/or granules in my cupboards, but not vegi broth. So, I went ahead and used beef broth (forgot I'd used up all the chicken) since it was a new recipe and I am not so great a chef that I am comfortable altering recipes I've never tried. So, I need to keep vegi broth on hand to use in recipes as an alternate to animal broth. I had a light bulb moment here and I'm sure some of you will be thinking "well, duh", but while I am a competent cook, I'm not necessarily a creative one-lol!! So, anyways, anytime I cook with vegetables there are always bits and pieces left over. For example, last night I didn't need all of the zucchini I sliced up for the Quinoa dish. Why don't I keep a storage bag in the freezer and add all those bits and pieces until I have a decent collection and use that to make homemade vegi broth and then freeze that in 1 cup containers to have on hand? I know, duh, right? LOL!! On some recipes I'm more familiar with I can just use water and then individually we can adjust for more sodium if needed (all meat broth is anyways is a little flavor and lots of sodium). Any thoughts on this? Anyone with more experience have any tips or suggestions? I know I can get canned vegi broth, do they make vegi granules?
Okay, moving on...several of you asked about my Lentil Tacos recipe...here is the link... allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tasty-Lentil-T
We LOVE this recipe! It calls for hard taco shells, which my kids love, but more often we use soft tortillas and make it a burrito or a wrap. Use whole wheat for a much healthier option. We seldom use the sour cream in the recipe. I love mine as a burrito packed with lettuce and tomato. We have always used the beef broth in the past, but I'll be making it this time with vegi broth and we'll see how that goes.
Moving forward, still have a run on board for later today, thinking I'll take the kids to the park while I run, I'll walk again to get the kids and fit in a 30 minute walk and when I am done here it is house work and then some yoga and that other part of strength training, before getting the kids....time to get busy...this day is moving forward without me-lol!!!
Monday, May 02, 2011
Sounds kind of strange doesn't it..."almost vegetarian". What is an "almost vegetarian"?
My family members are carnivores. My husband grew up in a very serious "meat and potatoes" family. I mean really, they come from Idaho!! Literally, meat and potatoes!! And milk, that man drinks more milk than my kids!! Anyways, for a long time I've been concerned about the amount of meat in our diet and I guess I'll go ahead and list the reasons, in no particular order.
1. Cholesterol-my husband's is chronically high.
2. The cost. Meat is horribly expensive if you are buying the good stuff (except ground turkey which I can usually get cheaper and leaner than ground beef).
3. The meat industry is horribly disgusting.
a. how meat is slaughtered
b. the hormones and medications given the animals get into our food
c. the lack of general respect given the animal during its entire life span
d. having purchase a pig raised by my SIL, we also know that meat raised with respect and good food, no hormones and no meds before slaughter and slaughtered with respect tastes a MILLION times better than anything bought at the store.
4. Meat should be a condiment not an entree
5. How I feel after a heavy on the meat meal
6. I honestly believe that the things grown from the earth were intended to be the main food supply for man, with meat taking a place during cold winter months when produce is in short supply.
7. I don't like the idea of how we needlessly slaughter so many animals. It is wasteful what we do. Going out and raising and slaughtering your own stock for your family is one thing to take an entire herd of cattle and slaughter them and then ship them to market where a goodly portion of that meat is going to end up in the dumpster seems so wrong. I also feel that how we treat the fish and other creatures in our oceans is a disgrace. Raise a tuna, shrimp, lobster, whatever on a farm, we don't need to empty our oceans of every living thing, including creatures we do not consume, like dolphin and sea turtle.
With all those things in mind and probably some I didn't list because they aren't coming to mind right now, I've often thought that we need to eat a bit more vegetarian and a lot less carnivore. My family has rejected this plan wholeheartedly the majority of the time. My one major success is my lentil tacos. They all like the lentil tacos-lol! They deserve to be liked, they are really, really yummy. Unfortunately, they are not actually 100 % vegetarian...I use beef broth to soak the lentils so they still taste like meat .
Lately I've been reading the book "Skinny B----". My son asks me why I am reading a book with a bad word in the title. I've had to explain the whole concept of stereotype and a few other things. A friend sent me a copy of the book and I've been reading it. I don't completely agree with everything in the book, but they do make valid points. Points I've been making to myself and my family.
So...I got out a couple cookbooks and got some recipes from allrecipes.com and I've put together a menu for the week that includes foods my family will eat, mixed with some foods I want us to eat. For them it will be a side dish. For me it is my meal.
I will spend this week passing on nearly all of the meat being served and I will have veg dishes and salads. My one exception will be the tuna melts coming up. They just sound too good :). Dolphin safe tuna, a whole wheat English muffin, a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of cheese, toasted in the oven. Mmmm. Making myself hungry :).
Quinoa, wheat berries and lentils are playing a major role in my diet this week. I will be making my tacos, but with less broth and more water to start adjusting our tastes to the natural flavor of things instead of the high sodium, beef-ish flavor.
This experiment actually started on Friday when I cooked some hamburgers for the family and I had cauliflower soup. I had soup again on Saturday while they had mac n' cheese (and then, later pizza-I ate half a pepperoni left on my daughter's slice (she made me pick off the pepperoni and I missed half a one-lol)). Yesterday was a vegetarian day for everyone, but I still did something a bit different.
I made polenta for myself. Made with water, whole corn and cornmeal this recipe is really good and super low fat. One teaspoon of butter in an eight serving recipe. I sliced and browned the polenta in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. I then sprinkled with a tiny bit of cheddar (we were out of Parmesan so everybody was using cheddar, and then poured the marinara everybody was using for their noodles over the polenta. Sooooo yummy and soooo much more filling than noodles. Less processed too. Tonight is son's favorite Teriyaki beef and rice. I'm making a Creamy quinoa primavera for myself. Quinoa, neufchatel (aka low fat cream cheese), and a variety of vegis, I'm using zucchini, tomatoes and peas. Have to hit the store later and if I can find asparagus for a good price might throw in a bit of that too. My peas in my garden are putting out pods, wish they were big enough to eat, would love to throw in those instead of the frozen I'm using. Oh well, if the recipe is as good as it sounds I'll make it again when my garden is producing better .
So, once again this is really long....this week is going to be operation almost vegetarian and we'll see how it goes and maybe, just maybe, my family will decide they like some of the things I will make and we can continue to cut a lot less meat and add a little more veg and live a little more healthily.
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Yep, that would be the I'm talking about. Didn't go down, didn't go up. So, I guess I'm thankful it didn't go but, I really wish it had gone .
I stayed fairly on track with my goals for the week.
I didn't write my journal, but I did catch myself doing the same thing mentally at the moment something frustrated, irritated, or angered me. So, same idea, just more instantaneous :). I did what the exercise was intended to do and evaluated situations for what the were and what could be done about it.
I didn't read so that was a fail....going to do better this week.
Yoga didn't fit in as much as I wanted it to. Doing better this week.
Personal fitness was a success!!! My foot continued to feel better over the course of the week. I added some walking, ran a bit on Thursday, kept walking, added in full strength sessions, did hill repeats on Saturday and hiked our little hill!! Saturday was a crazy busy, lots of exercise and walking and no repercussions for the foot as far as I can tell so far.
So, my fitness this week was REALLY good and the scale didn't budge...hmmm...this is what I think...A) I didn't do a good job tracking food or water. I know for a fact I am dehydrated today and need to guzzle the water and flush all the gunk from my body...B) I went WAAAY over the scheduled minutes for fitness and got the warning in red letters to the effect of you have to eat enough calories to support this level of exercise reset something so you get enough food.
So, this week's goal will see a little change...
1. Going to continue on with mentally and/or physically journaling emotional triggers.
2. Going to continue with physical fitness goals....run 3x this week, strength 3x this week and walk a minimum 3/5 days to get the kids from school.
3. Yoga...really do need this so it will be scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
4. Personal scripture time.
5. Water, water, water....a min. of 64 oz every day.
6. I am not changing my trackers this week, I will keep an eye on it for now and if I maintain the level I will change it on Wednesday.
7. Track food!!!
Okay, 7 goals seems like kind of a lot, but I'll make it work!! :)
Happy start of a new week everyone.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Does anybody else use Firefox and have problems with Spark in Firefox? It keeps eating my blogs saying that my password is wrong or something...bizarre!! So let's try again...This has been making the rounds and I don't have anything better to do so....here we go.
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
No...although there was a popular song with my name about the time I was born. Considering the number of people with my name born about the same time I think that song had an influence on a lot of parents :).
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Thursday...I was overwhelmed with someone's vote of confidence in me (more on that next week...gotta wait to see the end result before telling the story).
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Meh, it's legible but could be better.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Was ham before I found this super yummy and lean roast beef at the store. So much flavor, it makes the yummiest sandwiches.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Three (boy, girl, girl).
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
I'm more facetious than sarcastic.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Never. I get nervous driving over a bridge why on earth would I jump off of one, or its equivalent?
0. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Cap'n Crunch-lol!! Oatmeal and Raisin bran are my go to breakfast cereals...Cap'n
Crunch isn't breakfast, it's dessert-lol!!
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
More often than not...no. Don't yell at me, I know, I know and I will try to do better :).
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Mentally or physically....I guess the answer to either would be strong enough, but could always do with a bit of improvement.
3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
15. RED OR PINK
Green-lol! Not much of a pink or red person, but if I have to choose, then pink, but a bold pink like Raspberry.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU DO
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
18. WHAT IS THE SPARK FEATURE THAT HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST?
Blogs...reading, writing and having them read :)
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Purple running shoes (my faves-they have lime green accents) :).
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
scrambled egg with tomato and a bit of cheddar cheese
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
T.V. show Kings on hulu
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Wood smoke, citrus blossoms and fresh squeezed O.J.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
District PTA president
25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Mountain hideaway, but near a source of water (lake or stream)
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
27. HAIR COLOR?
28. EYE COLOR?
Probably the most unique thing about me...goldish, greenish, hazel.
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Used to, now just glasses.
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
Curry butternut squash soup. Almost anything with curry :).
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS
Happy endings. Not much of a horror fan, although I do enjoy thrillers a la Alfred Hitchcock. Make me think I'm scared, I don't need to see the butchering first hand.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
At a theater? Could not tell you...it's been too long...something kid related from the free summer matinees.
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
White race t-shirt with a heart shaped earth and runner girl wearing purple.
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Fall. If I lived somewhere other than where I do then probably summer. It's too hot here so I love the change from hot to cool...it is refreshing.
35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Both, they go together :)
36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
No idea...today I'll say cheesecake, but ask again next week and it will probably be different. Dessert preferences change with time of the month and what is fresh or available. Next week it'll probably be strawberries with angel food cake :).
37. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
Both, like hugs and kisses they go together
38. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
42. FAVORITE SOUND?
Birds singing (unless it is outside my window at dawn-lol), my kids laughing and quiet.
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Piano, sewing, crafts of most sorts, but not knitting. I can't knit.
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
47. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
48. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
White with blue trim
49. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
50. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 50 QUESTIONS?
It's something to do.
Since question 41 is missing and I don't want to cheat you out of an answer....
41. Favorite workout?
Running...I especially get some sort of odd pleasure from hill repeats :).
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